Troubleshooting: Water Disappears from Toilet Bowl Between Flushes

What You'll Need
Rubber gloves
Toilet brush
Blocks of wood to use as sawhorses
Adjustable wrench
Water hose

Waking up in the morning to find that water has disappeared from your toilet bowl can be the cause of much confusion and worry. However, you will find that it takes only a little investigation to find the problem so that you are able to repair it.

Step 1 – Inspect Toilet

Where water is disappearing from the toilet bowl for no apparent reason, begin by examining the toilet and the surrounding area for any evidence of the fault. If the toilet has suffered a leak, there may only be water present at the rear so check this area for any pools of water and drips from the waste pipe. Also, check inside the toilet bowl for anything amiss by cleaning it and looking for any cracks in the porcelain.

Step 2 – Test Toilet

Where nothing is found, do some further investigation by initially disconnecting the water supply to the toilet and flushing it until it is empty and use rags to soak up any traces of water in the bowl. Use the pliers to hold the inlet pipe while you unscrew the nut with the wrench. If the cistern is fixed to the wall, lift the lid and carefully set it aside before removing the fasteners that hold it in place. Finally, remove the bolts in the base that anchor the toilet bowl to the floor. Lift the toilet onto equally sized blocks of wood and stuff the drain hole with rags to prevent sewer gases from drifting up into the room. Make sure there is sufficient clearance to fit a large vessel or large sheet of newspaper beneath the toilet. Carefully pour some water into the toilet bowl to check whether it drips through.

Step 3 – Rectify

Where the crack is visible, a porcelain patch can be fitted over the defect to repair it. To reduce the risk of it coming loose and the leak resuming, this repair is best done by a professional. A defect to the porcelain may not always be visible. Alternatively, a new toilet will be required.

If there does not appear to be any problem with the bowl, it may be as a result of the vents that supply air. The whole toilet system requires air to help it drain properly and if the vents that usually supply air become clogged, the toilet will attempt to pull air from any place it can. This can result in the water level being reduced as it sucks the water down in the process. The vent will often be on the roof and can be cleared by running water into it; however, if you are not confident to do this or do not know the location of the vent, contact a professional.

Step 4 – Professional

Where the problem persists after the repair processes have been undertaken, the problem is likely to lie with the sewer line. If it has sustained a defect which causes it to leak, you should contact a professional to rectify it.